Tuesday, March 07, 2023

A Resource for Chanting the Office at Home in English - Singtheoffice.com

I have recently discovered the website singtheoffice.com, an excellent resource for people wishing to sing the Office at home (not for public worship). I imagine that some would adopt it’s basic structure and at times insert preferred hymns or prayers, while others might take parts of it, for example the psalm settings, and insert them into their preferred structure for the Office.

Praying the Divine Office in the home is the wellspring of Catholic culture

It gives the psalms and prayers in the cycle of the Book of Common Prayer, as might be used by the Anglican Ordinariate, which is derived from the tradition of the Church in England before the Reformation. I tend to use the 30-day cycle, by which all 150 psalms (without the omission of the cursing psalms that we find in the Paul VI Psalter) are sung at Matins and Evensong.
The psalm tones are Gregorian and seem to me be derived from the Sarum liturgy, so while the modal format will be familiar to anyone who knows Gregorian chant, some tones do have a particularly English feel to them. The assignment of the tone to the psalm follows the same schema as would be found in the St Dunstan Psalter, which is based, it claims, on tradition English, pre-reformation usage. The hymns are translations of traditional liturgical hymns set to Gregorian melodies.   
As is the custom in this form of the Office, there are two long scripture readings in every Morning and Evening Prayer.
The collects for the season and major feasts are present, but some may wish to insert hymns or prayers for Saints, which do not seem to be reflected in this basic structure.   
There is plenty of scope for changing the settings, depending upon which version of the BCP one prefers.
There is a function that allows the melody to be played, so those who cannot sight-read chant easily can very quickly pick up the tone or hymn melody.   
Below are a number of screenshots giving you a sense of what you see as you use the site.

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